Go back in time a few years and there were many ways to game the search engines as a means of moving your website to the top of the rankings. One of the most commonly used tactics was blog comments.
The strategy was simple: leave a comment on a high page rank blog with your target keyword (not your name) as the anchor text.
Not only was this a quick way to obtain high quality links, but it worked. It was the best of both worlds. But as you know, things have changed over the years and Google is smarter than ever before.
Waste of Time?
From an SEO perspective, there is no point in spending time on blog comments. Even if it only takes you a few minutes here and there to make comments on high authority blogs, you aren’t getting anything in return. In fact, you could be doing more harm than good (and that is not a risk you should be willing to take).
As hard as it may be, it is essential that you change with the times. If you don’t, your online strategy will be dead before you know what hit you.
Important at the Same Time?
Blog commenting may no longer be a useful way to increase search engine rankings for your target keywords, however, there are still benefits of implementing this technique into your day-to-day marketing strategy.
Here are three benefits of commenting on blogs:
- Increase traffic.
This has nothing to do with organic traffic and everything to do with people clicking through to your site.
There is no guarantee that every time you leave a comment that people are going to read it, fall in love with what you have to say, and click through to learn more. That being said, this is sure to happen from time to time.
Here are two tips for increasing your click through rate:
- Only leave comments worth reading. In the past, when commenting for SEO purposes was all the rage, you didn’t need to say anything worthwhile in order to benefit. If increasing click through traffic is on your mind, it is critical that you add insightful, useful comments. These are the types that people will take notice of, both the author as well as other readers. It may take a few minutes (or longer) to craft a comment that you can be proud of, but it is well worth it once you begin to experience the benefits.
- Be selective of where you leave comments. It will take trial and error to determine which blogs are worth your time and which ones you should put on your “ignore list.” The best thing you can do is spread the love, leaving comments on 5 to 10 blogs per day to get a good feel for which ones provide the best return. As a general rule of thumb, focus on the top blogs in a particular niche, with one eye towards those that have a lot of reader interaction.
2. Build your brand.
At first, nobody will know who you are. From the author to regular readers, your name won’t stick out early on. Over time, as you comment more and more on blogs in the same industry, your brand will begin to grow. This is particularly true if you are doing other things online to enhance your brand and gain recognition.
For those who don’t understand the steps involved with building a personal brand, this Inc. article will point you in the right direction.
Here is a brief passage from the piece that will drive you to remain persistent:
“A personal brand is like a garden. Once you lay the groundwork and plant the seeds, you’ll be in a great position to eventually reap the benefits. However, it still takes time and dedication to nurture and expand your creation.”
From an online marketing perspective, your primary goal is the same as many others: to push as much high quality, targeted traffic to your website as possible.
Since you won’t get any SEO value from blog commenting, your first task (as discussed above) is to determine how this strategy can increase traffic to your website. Once you do this, by pinpointing the blogs that generate the most clicks, it is time to move on to the next phase. This is when you turn your attention to converting visitors into sales, email subscribers, etc.
Once again, it is all about tracking and sticking with the strategy you have created for yourself. Have you found that traffic from one blog has converted at a higher rate? If so, you should do two things:
- Continue to leave comments on this blog until it stops working.
- Make a list of the key traits of the blog, and then scour the same industry for others that fit the mold.
Traffic is just the start. What you should care about the most is converting as many visitors as possible. This is when your blog commenting strategy really begins to pay off.
Blog commenting isn’t what it used to be, and this will likely remain true well into the future. There is no reason to believe Google will once again tolerate this as a “clean and fair” way of generating links for the sole purpose of SEO.
On the flipside, the information above should show you that there is still a time and place for leaving blog comments. This won’t do anything for your organic rankings, but it could still do wonders for your traffic as well as your bottom line.
If you put blog commenting on the backburner upon it becoming obsolete as a link building strategy, now is the time to revisit the idea. Don’t be surprised if the results knock you off your feet (in a good way, of course).